We have a quick update to the information we published last week regarding cross country broadcast schedules from Tom Horrocks, Communications Manager for the Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. After finalizing schedules, NBC will have all World Cup events available for streaming through their PeacockTV platform.
As mentioned in the first post, there is also a new streaming platform, Ski and Snowboard Live, which is owned by the production company InFront. This platform will have all World Cup events available, except those taking place in Austria and Switzerland. These broadcasts will have English commentary, whereas NBC typically will not have commentary.
West Yellowstone Ski Festival Cancelled:
It has been a dry start to the winter across much of the West. Ski, Run, Bike Montana announced yesterday that the annual West Yellowstone Thanksgiving ski festival on the Rendezvous Ski Trails has been cancelled due to lack of snow. This cancellation includes the FIS races scheduled on the 27th. Typically, elite athletes use this race as a tune-up before the SuperTour begins the first weekend of December, this year in Duluth, MN.
Spending Thanksgiving in West Yellowstone has also become an annual tradition for many club skiers and cross country ski enthusiasts looking to kick off their season with a week of sliding on well-groomed snow. Let’s hope this, the first cancellation in 32 years of the event, is an anomaly.
FIS Races in Sweden and Norway:
Piggybacking on Devon Kershaw’s discussion of opening FIS races in Scandinavia and Finland, we’ll take a look at results from two primary events this weekend, first in Gällivare, Sweden and second in Beitostølen, Norway.
Perhaps the most important result to highlight took place in the men’s freestyle sprint on November 19th. After placing 14th in the qualifier, Kevin Bolger raced his way onto the podium for a second place finish behind Johan Haggström (SWE). Marcus Grate (SWE) took third. Bolger also raced the 15k classic on the 20th where he finished 37th (+2:23).
Bolger spent much of his summer training in Sweden alongside his partner, top Swedish athlete Maja Dahlqvist. Bolger will join the U.S. Ski Team for the opening World Cup races this weekend in Ruka, Finland.
(Find full results from the races in Gällivare here.)
Moving on to Beitostølen where most of the Norwegian National Team showed up to throw down, vying for World Cup starts and foreshadowing their readiness to contend. Though other top international racers were in the field, Norway swept all four podiums.
For the women — no surprises here — Therese Johaug won both the 10k classic and skate distance races by a significant margin. Teammate Heidi Weng took the second spot on the podium both days, finishing 43 seconds back in the classic and 35 seconds back in the skate. Silje Theodorsen was third in classic (+1:18.9) and Ragnhild Haga was third in skate (+45.1).
Also posting strong results for USA, Sophia Laukli of the U.S. Cross Country D-Team placed 7th in the 10k skate (+1:24.0). Laukli caught a ride on Weng’s tails, which she credits for her strong result. We just noticed how well she was able to match the Norwegian. Laukli also placed 15th in the 10k classic (+2:28.3).
On the men’s side, racing was a bit tighter. In the 15k classic, Hans Christer Holund took the win ahead of Emil Iversen (+17.3) and Håvard Moseby (+24.5). In the 15k freestyle stage, Harald Østberg Amundsen, who took third (despite a late crash) in the event at his first senior World Championships last year, edged out Sjur Røthe who finished 2.4 seconds back. Emil Iversen, on back-to-back podiums, was third (+13.4).
(Find full results from the races in Beitostølen here.)
The World Cup kicks off on Friday November 26th with a men’s and women’s classic sprint.
Rachel is an endurance sport enthusiast based in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado. You can find her cruising around on skinny skis, running in the mountains with her pup, or chasing her toddler (born Oct. 2018). Instagram: @bachrunner4646